• Kyodo

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Latin American migrant workers in Japan sent $2.665 billion to their home countries in 2004, nearly six times more than Japan’s official economic aid to the region, estimates by the Inter-American Development Bank showed Wednesday.

The estimates are based on the IDB’s interviews of 1,070 Latin American migrants working in Japan in February. The study also shows they earn an average of $50,000 per worker, about twice the income of Latin American migrants in the United States.

The Washington-based organization unveiled the figures in a seminar held in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, ahead of Sunday’s start of its annual three-day meeting.

In 2003, the Japanese government provided Latin American countries with $463.9 million in official development assistance.

According to the IDB, more than 435,000 adult migrants from Brazil, Peru and other Latin American countries are working in Japan. Of them, more than 300,000, or 70 percent, send money regularly to their home countries.

They remitted money an average 14.5 times a year, each time sending an average of $600.

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